What is the impact of obesity on fertility in men and women?

Obesity is increasingly becoming an epidemic in the global scenario. Obesity is affecting humans in more ways than we ever imagined. It is one of the leading causes of many lifestyle diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, infertility, etc. Obesity has a negative health impact on both men and women that exhibits in different ways.

Various factors result in obesity such as physical inactivity, genetics, stress, psychological issues, gender, age, a diet that is rich in fats and calories, and in some cases medications. As a consequence of poor lifestyle and increasing obesity, infertility has become a rising cause of concern for many men and women affecting their reproductive health. This has an adverse effect on an individual’s body such as in case of women it causes complications in pregnancy, poor conception rate, high miscarriage rate, etc. and in men it leads to not just poor sperm count but something even more serious – Changes in the physical and molecular structure of the cells that make up sperms. This results in poor genes that are passed on to the offspring which lacks in proper reproductive and metabolic health.

Obesity in men

Causes & symptoms of gaining weight

Contrary to the popular belief, health of both men and women play an important role in conception. Not until recently, research has been done on men to find out if obesity in them can be linked to poor conception or miscarriages. These researches have shown a direct association between obesity in men and decreased rate of pregnancy or increase in the loss of pregnancy. Being overweight also interferes with the release of testosterone and other hormones resulting in an insufficient or improper release of sperms. The quality of sperm has a huge impact on the embryos health as well.

Obesity in men not just has ill effects on pregnancy but also the general health of the child. Many studies have concluded that an obese father will most likely have an obese child, along with many chronic diseases that will get passed on.

Obesity in women

In women, obesity can create a lot of hormonal imbalance leading to many complications such as infertility, irregular menstrual cycle, etc. Obesity also leads to improper ovulation which results in difficulty in conceiving, using either natural or artificial methods to conceive.

An endocrine disorder such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is common among obese women. Excessive levels of androgens are associated with PCOS. These cause an unnatural reaction between the ovarian theca cells and reactive oxygen species. Obesity also interferes with the maturation of the follicles which causes a grave problem with the ovulation cycles. This makes attaining pregnancy and retaining it till its full term extremely complicated.

What can be done to resolve this situation?

The only and sure shot way to get rid of infertility is to lose weight. The imbalance in the body that gets created due to excessive fat deposits in the body needs to be corrected first. Then the healing process of the body will begin, slowly getting back to its original functioning. This needs to be supported with a balanced diet rich in proteins, vitamins, and minerals that will strengthen the body on its way to recovery. By reducing the intake of carbohydrates and fats, the body will gradually build muscles using all the proteins it is getting. Muscles are good news for those looking at losing weight as muscles help in burning most amounts of calories.

Exercising is another important aspect of losing the excess weight. Regular physical activity will mobilize the metabolism of the body and get it into a fat burning mode. The perfect mix of cardio, strength training, functional training and stretching can pave the way to healthy weight and healthy body that will aid in regaining the lost fertility both in men and women. Infertility is a growing concern for many couples but it is not difficult to manage as long as it is identified in time and corrective measures are taken.